In 2002, as Westminster College celebrated its 150th anniversary, the Board of Trustees took a serious look at the question of what it means to be a PC(USA) related college. As a result, the decision was made to offer up to 150 scholarships, worth $18,500 annually for Academic Year 2013-2014, to outstanding PC(USA) students and offer them a way to continue to grow in faith and leadership while on our campus.
The scholarships are given to all PC(USA) churches to award to deserving students. Each congregation can select two students who meet the following qualifications:
- PC(USA) membership
- 3.5 (or higher) cumulative HSGPA
- Nomination by pastor/congregation by December 1
- December 1 - Pastor / Congregation Nomination
- December 15 - Student Application to the college
Our goal is to enhance the educational opportunities for young Presbyterians and build upon Westminster's historic ties to the church. The Young Presbyterian Scholars (YPS) Program empowers congregations to nominate up to two deserving students for a four-year, $70,000 scholarship to one of the nation's best liberal arts colleges.
The Mission of the YPS Program is to:
- Provide opportunities for personal and spiritual growth
- Mentor/partner with other students throughout the Program's course
- Study and discuss faith issues
- Develop and encourage leadership skills
It is the Program's goal to parallel the mission of Westminster College, which is to help men and women develop the competencies, commitments and characteristics which distinguish humanity at its best.
Life is About Change...
And college is the first major step in learning how to deal with life changes for most people. Decisions have to be made, time must be managed, and there are choices (that are often hard!) with consequences.
That sure doesn’t sound like fun, and college is supposed to be fun...at least that is what nearly everyone hears at their high school graduation party! But the truth is that even during the fun choices are being made which say a lot about who we are, what we believe and stand for, and what we value.
The Young Presbyterian Scholars (YPS) programming for 2013-2014 will be focusing - for the first time - on the life questions of students and how their faith affects them. This spring we surveyed our students and found that a great majority really do want to have the time and place to discuss what choices are involved with college - from friendships to relationships to worship to scholarship. That’s right...they want to discuss it, hear from mentors and find ways to incorporate it in their college life.
So our planning over the summer will be aimed at providing time and space for these things to happen through different training and focus with our peer mentoring, with programming and even with our production of the Global Gift Market.
One of the gifts of the YPS scholarship has been drawing students from outside of Westminster’s general recruiting area (western PA/eastern OH), and we do have incoming students from Arizona, California and New Jersey in addition to our PA/OH students. In all, we will have 75 YPS scholars on campus in the fall. Please remember that two (2) nominations are accepted from every PC(USA) church, providing the student is qualified (3.5 cumulative HSGPA).
And as usual, Spring Honors Convocation proved that the YPS recipients are doing exceptionally well at Westminster, being inducted into every honor and service group on campus, achieving the Dean’s List and College Honors more than any other particular group (by percentage). We look forward to another class of excellent students and curious souls in search of a meaningful, active, journeying faith.
The Chaplain’s theme for the 2013-2014 year is “Gratitude”, and we know that this theme will encourage both thought and action for our campus. We are grateful for every church that sends us students, and grateful for every student who enriches our program and campus community.
So NOMINATE! Make sure your pastor knows about YPS, and that every student who should have a chance to look at Westminster College can!!
Carey Anne M. LaSor
Assistant to the College Chaplain & Coordinator, Young Presbyterian Scholars Program
Rev. Jim MohrCollege Chaplain & Director Church Relations (724) 946-7116
Brad TokarDirector of Admissions (724) 946-7100
"Our Young Presbyterian Scholars (YPS) Program can be an important resource for your PC(USA) church by helping an outstanding student achieve his or her academic goals in addition to strengthening the historic ties between the church and Westminster College."
- President Richard H. Dorman